Kos Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Mu­seum as­sesses dam­age in wake of quake

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY AIMILIOS CHARBIS

Among the many build­ings on Kos that sus­tained dam­age dur­ing last week’s 6.6 mag­ni­tude earth­quake was the Dode­canese is­land’s ar­chae­o­log­i­cal mu­seum. Thank­fully, the his­tor­i­cal struc­ture built in 1936 sur­vived the tem­blor but some of its an­cient ex­hibits were less for­tu­nate.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port is­sued on Mon­day by the Min­istry of Cul­ture, out of the 43 sculp­tures show­cased on pedestals, three head­less stat­ues and one bust fell over and sus­tained mi­nor chips and cracks, es­pe­cially to parts that has been re­stored with plas­ter.

In its ini­tial state­ment af­ter the earth­quake, the min­istry had only men­tioned “shifts and mi­nor de­te­ri­o­ra­tions, mainly on ce­ramic vases.”

Nev­er­the­less, the dam­age was lim­ited.

Cu­ra­tor and ar­chae­ol­o­gist Toula Mar­ke­tou was put in charge of draw­ing up a new ex­hi­bi­tion plan af­ter the mu­seum un­der­went ex­ten­sive ren­o­va­tion work last year. She told Kathimerini that the plan in­cluded earth­quake pro­vi­sions.

The move­ment of the stat­ues dur­ing last week’s quake was pre­cisely that which was an­tic­i­pated in sim­u­la­tions that led to cer­tain mea­sures be­ing im­ple­mented to pre­vent greater dam­age.

The aim should now ob­vi­ously be the restora­tion of the dam­aged ex­hibits but ad­di­tional steps so that the mu­seum will be even bet­ter pre­pared in the fu­ture.

The lo­cal of­fice of the Ephor­ate of Pre­his­toric and Clas­si­cal An­tiq­ui­ties is al­ready mov­ing in that di­rec­tion as a crew of ar­chae­ol­o­gists, con­ser­va­tors and tech­ni­cians have thrown them­selves into the task of re­pair­ing the dam­aged ex­hibits and mak­ing sure the mu­seum can re­open to the public as soon as pos­si­ble. Mean­while, a min­istry del­e­ga­tion has trav­eled to the is­land to record and co­or­di­nate restora­tion work.

Thanks to its re­cent up­grade, the mu­seum has be­come a top at­trac­tion for vis­i­tors to the is­land. Its lo­ca­tion at the heart of the town, in com­bi­na­tion with the in­tro­duc­tion of a sin­gle ticket that grants hold­ers ad­mis­sion to mul­ti­ple sites, re­sult in many more vis­i­tors tak­ing in the is­land’s ar­chae­o­log­i­cal trea­sures than would oth­er­wise be the case.

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